Another rare dandelion that we’ve taken under our wing. Rubber Root, alternately known as Russian or Kazakh Dandelion (Taraxacum kok-saghyz) is a perennial dandelion with origins in the Kazakhstan / Uzbekistan regions. The plants are smaller than Taraxacum officinale and Taraxacum albidum (two other varieties we offer in our catalog), with thicker and a paler greens. Their graceful small yellow flowers are still recognizably dandelion.
This dandelion species has a cultural history that dates back to Stalinist Soviet Russia, where scientists first discovered the latex content contained in the plant roots could be used to produce natural rubber. Contemporary plant breeders have rediscovered the plant with the ultimate aim of breeding improved plants that can provide a commercially viable alternative to both natural (most commonly produced from Hevea brasiliensis or rubber tree) and synthetic rubbers. Today, Ford Motor Company and Ohio State University are presently conducting joint research with the aim of commercializing it to replace synthetic car parts such as cupholders and interior trim. Researchers in Europe have already produced prototype dandelion car tires.
We offer Taraxacum kok-saghyz seeds to our customers primarily as dandelion enthusiasts who understand that dandelions play an important ecological on diversified small scale farms like ours. In our Mediterranean climate we start seeds indoors/in a greenhouse in mid-winter, and grow the plants to the their first few true leaves prior to transplanting in early spring. We’ve planted them in the mid summer, and while they survived, it seemed like the plants generally weren’t as vital.
60 days to flower from transplant. Perennial.